Oil and gas workers on Monday identified obsolete refineries and pricing uncertainties as some of the areas that Mr Mele Kyari, new Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), must tackle.

The workers under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) said in a statement in Lagos that Kyari must also tackle pipeline vandalism.

Mr Lumumba Okugbawa, the PENGASSAN General Secretary, who signed the statement, noted that the new GMD’s appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, takes effect from July 8.

According to Okugbawa, Kyari replaces Maikanti Baru, who has been on the saddle for about four years and described the appointment as well deserved.

He however said that Kyari must endeavour to solve the challenges of pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, inadequate infrastructure, pricing uncertainties, obsolete refineries and fuel subsidy issues.

“The resting of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is also among issues the Nigerian masses expect the new NNPC board to champion in order to further bolster the economy,” he said.

The union scribe said that Kyari, a Geologist, until his appointment was group general manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of NNPC.

“He also doubled, since May 13, 2018, as Nigeria’s representative to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). He steps in with a wealth of experience in the oil and gas industry.

“We welcome his appointment. Kyari as a quintessential crude oil marketer with prerequisite certification and outfield pedigree in petroleum economics, and crude oil and gas trading.

“His knowledge, wisdom, steadfastness, and purposefulness to the corporation, the oil and gas industry and the nation as a whole, is being rewarded by the new appointment,” Okugbawa said.

He said that the appointment came as a testament to hard work, the association having watched the steady and impactful progress made by the new GMD over the years.

He said that the union was aware of how Kyari led the team that proposed and managed the Direct Sales and Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement of petroleum products from 2016 to date.

According to him, it is a process that saved the nation of over $1 million in 2016 as a result of his handling of the crude oil SWAP arrangement with products.

“It is on this premise that PENGASSAN believes that Kyari’s testament to exemplary record and exceptional performance over the years in different strategic roles will be of immense benefit to the corporation, industry and the nation’s economy,” he said.

Okugbawa commended the outgoing GMD (Baru) for his contributions to the growth of the industry and effort to ensure stability in terms of industrial relations management and free flow of refined products.

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